Zombie Tug of War

This week I'm in an all-out tug of war with the zombies.  Just short of getting hostile with the lot, I figured writing a blog post would be more cathartic.  I'm going to rant about enterprise tools and how I see them fit into the world of business.  Zombie Tug of WarI've been asked many times what products I would suggest to satisfy different needs.  I'll admit, I'm pretty passionate about some of the tools I use.  I love Evernote.  Why?  My memory sucks!   If I can get my thoughts into Evernote, I know I'll be good.  I also love using AgileZen.  I know, you've heard me talk about them before.  I keep a physical Kanban and a virtual one.  It's what I describe as both lightweight and elegant. It just works!  One more little app you may of heard of that I love is Google docs.  I like the fact that I can edit my documents anywhere and then share or collaborate on them with other team members. There are 3 primary commonalities that I can note about these 3 applications.  [1] They are super easy to use,  [2] either free or very affordable, [3] they help me save time.

So, what are the zombies taunting me with?

I'm working with a customer who is on a Novell network, uses Groupwise email, and has the poorest implementation of Microsoft SharePoint I've seen since I was introduced to SharePoint 5+ years ago.  None of these applications are necessarily bad.  But, when it comes to this bastardized configuration I'm currently dealing with, I get the feeling the only reasons these apps are being used is because really good salespeople sold a few zombies on these half-baked solutions.

Before you spend tens of thousands of hard earned dollars on the next "silver bullet", ask yourself why you need the product.  Are you trying to fix a process?  If so, I think you'll end up with an expensive crappy process.  Let me be very blunt.  Enterprise software will not fix a crappy process! Enterprise software is for making a refined process more efficient.  When I started advising this customer over two years ago, a vendor had just sold them on a deployment of MS SharePoint with Project Server.   Why?  So the customer could internally track time being billed to different work packages.  That's it!  What I found odd was the customer didn't have an existing way of internally tracking the time.  So, instead of having people fill out Excel spreadsheets to get them started, they just went for a solution that would solve all of their problems.  Have you read that promise before?

The result?  A solution nobody uses.

Score: Zombies 1 / Humanity -$50,000

My apologies for the negative nature of this post.  Happier posts are on the way!

[VIA: Oxford Dictionaries]

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